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Moyers' Return To Pbs Is Expected Next Year

August 01, 1986|CLARKE TAYLOR

NEW YORK — Bill Moyers plans to return to public television next year with a 10-part series focusing on the U.S. Constitution, according to informed sources.

Plans call for the series to be produced here by Moyers starting in the fall, and to be presented to public television stations nationwide by New York's WNET and Detroit's WTVS in early 1987, leading up to the bicentennial celebration of the Constitution.

A spokesperson for WNET acknowledged that the project is "on the boards" at the station. And WTVS Senior Vice President Dan Alpert said that the Detroit station plans to present the new series jointly with WNET, pending anticipated funding of the series by Detroit-based General Motors.

It has been widely rumored within the broadcast industry that Moyers plans to leave his current position as a commentator and producer of special documentary reports for CBS News when his contract with the network expires next November. A caller to Moyers' office here Wednesday was told that Moyers was on vacation and unavailable for comment.

Barry Chase, vice president for news and public affairs at PBS, confirmed by telephone from his office in Washington Wednesday that discussions have been held with Moyers about returning to public television with the projected series, and he said, "we fully expect that he will return."

In a sense, the former Lyndon Johnson aide-turned-broadcast journalist has never left. Since his first WNET-produced series in the early 1970s, "This Week," Moyers has maintained a close relationship with the New York station.

"Bill Moyers' Journal" was produced here from 1973-1981, and since then, although he has been with CBS news, Moyers has produced two public television series, "Creativity," and "A Walk Through the 20th Century."

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